Non surgical way to get rid of age spots?

I am 62, and I have spots on my face. Everything seemed to hit hard at 60. I can not afford surgury. What shoud I do to ease some of the stress, dryness and those spots that are on my face.? A peel, or retin A?

Doctor Answers 9

Good news!

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Good news non-surgical techniques are often effective in solving your problems. The basis of any skin care treatments start with good health & good health habits. So control the things you can. First, avoid excess sun exposure or use a good sunscreen (one which blocks UVA & UVB rays at least a 15 SPF every day and/or even better sun protection clothing). No smoking or at least reduce as much as possible. Now to active treatment. Good skin care customized to your skin requires knowledge. Often you can see a trained skin specialist in the Plastic Surgeons office for a minimal cost or complimentary to have analyses of your skin and start on good, effective quality skin care. This does not have to be expensive only effective. Skin care usually takes 3 months to see a significant difference and depending upon the severity of your spots may require more aggressive treatments such as peels, or laser treatments. At that point seeing the Plastic Surgeon may be needed. Only a Physician can prescribe retinA, and other medicines to help lighten and/or remove your spots.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon

Laser Treatments

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All the items you've mentioned below should help - Retin A and Glycolic acid peels both have good evidence behind them to lighten "age" or "sun" spots on the face. Perhaps even more effective is a low energy laser treatment (i.e. Clear and Brilliant). Other topicals that have shown promise in this arena are hydroquinone 4% and over-the-counter lighteners like licorice root and arbutin (i.e. First Aid Beauty's 5 in 1 Moisturizer with SPF).

Bobby Buka, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Age spots at 61

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  1. start with a skin care program such as Obagi, results can be dramatics,
  2. a TCA peel will further improve skin health and appearance,
  3. high percent TCA or phenol/croton oil will remove individual spots.
  4. a daily sun block is essential or spots will return, skin deteriorate on more sun exposure.

Spot removal and skin "pep up"

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Spots can be reduced fairly quickly with IPL. If you want a long term program and are willing to wait a bit, a coordinated skin care program can provide fantastic results.

We particularly like the effects of the Obagi program. Sometimes it needs an extra tweak depending on your skin condition, but long term it can be a wonderful skin improvement and maintenance program.

You always always need to remember sun protection. At 62, diet and proper rest make a big difference in how your skin looks too. Be holistic in your approach to get skin you like looking at.

A visit to a dermatologist is a good idea. If the spots are rough or raised, they need to be evaluated.

Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Melarase creams for pigmentation problems on the skin

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Our office specializes in melasma and dark spots. A combination protocol including Melapeels, Melarase AM and Melarase PM creams, and photofacials can help your complexion. 


DR. Karamanoukian 
Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Non surgical way to get rid of age spots?

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A high quality medical skin care program focused on hyperpigmentation (see below link) can be very helpful. Of course sunscreen and sun protection are essential.


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Several factors contribute to dark areas and spots on the skin, known as hyperpigmentation. The sun, acne, melasma, prescription medication and hormonal imbalances are all causes of hyperpigmentation. These dark spots occur when your skin produces more melanin, which gives our skin its color. There are a wide range of treatments for hyperpigmentation. The success depends on the cause of the hyperpigmentation. Strict sun protection and use of sunscreen are required in order to prevent worsening and recurrence of hyperpigmentation before, during and after treatment. We recommend seeing a dermatologist to assess the extent of your hyperpigmentation so he or she can customize an appropriate treatment plan which may include some of the following:
Topical medications such as hydroquinone and Retin-A are commonly prescribed for hyperpigmentation. These bleaching and retinol creams do not work for all types of hyperpigmentation and they can take up to six months to visibly lighten, results may not always be noticeable.
Hyperpigmentationis often treated with the Fraxel laser is very effective. This treatment targets the pigment in the skin that causes skin to appear darker. Two to three treatments may be required to achieve the desired result. There is usually minimal downtime that lasts about three to five days with this treatment.
Chemical peels can be a good option for those with hyperpigmentation. Peels like the LUMA peel which uses vitamin A and arbutin or a TCA peel (trichloracetic acid) are available for all skin types and are highly effective in reducing pigmentation. There may be some downtime of a few days to a week. A glycolic acid peel will not erase wrinkles and is helpful for extremely mild cases of hyperpigmentation.

Ariel Ostad, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Non Surgical Treatment of Age Spots

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Skin lightening agents (e.g. hydroquinone) and Retina A are helpful in many but to have more complete removal pre treat with this then use liquid nitrogen, TCA peel, or laser treatments followed once healing occurs with the above to prevent recurrence especially during the summer.

IPL and Laser

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If you are looking for overall skin rejuvenation and have many brown spots then IPL would be a great treatment for you.  If you only have a few then those can be treated with a Q-Switched Laser.

Jerome Potozkin, MD
Danville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.